Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Books Read in 2010: "The War for Late Night" by Bill Carter



What with Conan O'Brien's new show starting on TBS this week, this seemed like a good choice.

A good rehashing of the whole unpleasant affair. Although the best parts may come in the epilogue, where some analysis comes into play and perspective is achieved. As Jerry Seinfeld notes, with either great clarity or great cynicism, "The Tonight Show," as most people idolized it, ended when Johnny Carson retired. The show that Conan O'Brien wanted to host was that show, not "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." But that show is no more. As Seinfeld continues, no one says "I'm doing the 'Tonight Show'," they say "I'm doing Jay," or Dave, or Conan, or Kimmel, or whomever. "Tonight" used to be the only game in town worth playing for, now its just one of many.

So, ultimately, would it have mattered if Conan went on at 12:05 instead of 11:35? No matter what, he wasn't going to be Johnny Carson. Or Jay Leno. Or Jack Paar or Steve Allen, for that matter.